I’ve written before about how coaching is at bottom based on the fundamental insight that coachees are experts vis-à-vis their own issues – even though they may not yet be fully aware of the fact or able independently to access their ‘wisdom’.
The other day I found myself musing on what this might mean as far as the coaching relationship is concerned. We know that part of the coaching role is to facilitate coachees in accessing their ‘wisdom’. But what riches might coachees themselves be bringing to the table, that we coaches may not yet have acknowledged?
Last time we checked out what the GROW Model is. We also discussed the importance of Goal Setting in helping both coach and coachee look beyond the current situation to establish a clear vision for the coaching intervention, as well as a focus for taking discussions forward.
Following on from that, this time we’ll be looking at the other three components of the GROW Model:
- checking out the Reality of the coachee’s current context and situation
- generation of Options
- ensuring the coachee has the Will to move forward with specific actions
Last time we looked at the reasons to contract in coaching – one of the five basic skills it’s necessary for any coach to master. This time I’m turning to another skill on that wishlist. The GROW Model – that easy-to-remember, simple, and perennially popular mechanism for structuring coaching sessions.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that there are no other ways of structuring sessions. There are. Many. Some are simple whilst others are much more complicated. However, I’m highlighting the GROW Model here because of its almost universal acceptance and serviceability. It’s stood the test of time, been pulled around and discussed widely, and become a coaching staple used because of its effectiveness by a whole variety of coaches, including the most experienced.
Why is it important to have some kind of recognisable approach to structuring coaching sessions?
In a previous post I discussed the five basic skills any coach needs to master if he or she wants to be effective. I said then I’d be discussing each of these in further posts, so here I’ll be looking into the first skill on that list by checking out the rationale for and characteristics of effective contracting.
Effective contracting is crucial to the success of coaching relationships. Why? Well, the origins of any problems that occur as the relationships develop can usually be traced back to the contracting stage.
The term ‘contracting’ can refer to two things:
- the ongoing process whereby the coach helps the coachee define, refine and redefine clear outcomes for the coaching sessions;
- the negotiations and resulting document setting out the parameters of the relationship between coach, coachee and any other stakeholders with an interest in the coaching intervention.
I’ll be taking a look at both of these under the following headings:
- Contracting in the coaching process
- Contracting the coaching relationship
I’ve said a lot elsewhere on this blog about coaching. But the first question really ought to be: “Why use it?”
As coaches, we need to have thought this through. Our own enthusiasm for our profession isn’t really enough. If we haven’t thought it through, and we haven’t identified key benefits to individual and organisational performance associated with coaching interventions, we’re very unlikely to be able to convince anyone else to invest time, effort and money into what even now might easily be dismissed as ‘just another fad’.
So let’s take a look. As a coach active within a large organisation, this time I’ll be discussing 6 reasons why putting time, effort and money into coaching and establishing a coaching culture would be more than a good idea.